No. 20 UCF Hosts UAB Friday, Memphis Sunday

Sept. 24, 2009

UCF Women's Soccer Notes in PDF Format

ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) - Conference USA play is finally here and No. 20 UCF will open up at home against UAB Friday at 7 p.m. with the first 100 fans receiving a UCF shirt. On Sunday, the Knights and Memphis clash at 1 p.m. on CBS College Sports (tape-delayed to Tuesday at 7 p.m.), and the first 250 students will be guaranteed a football ticket to the UCF-Memphis game Oct. 3.

Friday Night at 7 p.m.
UCF - 5-2-1 Overall
UAB - 6-2-0 Overall
First 100 Fans Receive a UCF T-Shirt

Sunday Afternoon at 1 p.m.
UCF - 5-2-1 Overall
Memphis - 5-3-0 Overall
First 250 Students are Guaranteed a Football Ticket to the Memphis Game
Televised by CBS College Sports - Tape-Delayed to Tuesday at 7 p.m.

Admission is free to both soccer matches at the UCF Soccer Complex.

Previewing UAB and Memphis
UCF will be taking on two of the most skilled programs in C-USA right away this weekend. UAB (6-2-0) began 2009 with a 6-0-0 record before suffering a loss to No. 4 Florida State and No. 8 Wake Forest. The Blazers were ranked No. 24 before they met with FSU, and are currently led by Tiffini Turpin on offense who has three goals and seven points. In net Kate Blankenship has four shutouts along with 1.39 goals-against average.

For Memphis (5-3-0), it also climbed to No. 24 in the nation early in the season, and has wins over No. 25 LSU and Alabama. Ashley Berra has collected five goals and 11 points this year, while Elise Kuhar-Pitters has three shutouts to her credit and a 0.86 GAA.

The Series
UAB and Memphis are two of only three teams in C-USA that has a .500 record or better against UCF (UTEP is the third). The Blazers took a 3-2-1 lead thanks to a win on their home surface last year. And the Knights and Tigers are knotted at 3-3-0, as UCF won in overtime in Tennessee during the 2008 regular season only to see Memphis notch a 2-0 triumph in the C-USA Tournament.

Proving Themselves
UCF not only survived one of the toughest non-conference schedules in the country, it will begin C-USA play with an impressive 5-2-1 record. An unofficial RPI report released on Sept. 21 listed the Knights' schedule as the second most-difficult in the nation behind only North Carolina.

Meanwhile, that same report, which uses a similar formula to the one the NCAA puts together, gave the Knights an overall RPI of No. 10, the highest ranking of any C-USA program and any school in the state of Florida.

Late Heroics
Of UCF's five victories, four of the game-winners came in the 68 th minute or later. Three of those goals occurred in overtime or with four minutes or less remaining in regulation.

UCF's Game-Winning Goals in 2009
Win #1: Aug. 21 vs. FGCU - Katie Jackson 68th min.
Win #2: Aug. 30 vs. Duke - Stacie Hubbard 87th min.
Win #3: Sept. 6 vs. FIU - Courtney Whidden 17th min.
Win #4: Sept. 10 vs. FSU - Courtney Whidden 105th min.
Win #5: Sept. 13 vs. USF - Nicolette Radovcic 89th min.

The Non-Conference Schedule
The Knights faced a total of four teams ranked in the top-12 in the nation, and went 2-2-0 vs. those schools. After falling to No. 1 North Carolina Aug. 28, the Black and Gold bounced back to upend No. 10 Duke two days later.

When No. 4 Florida State came to town Sept. 10, the Knights stunned the Seminoles with a 1-0 overtime victory. To close the non-conference portion of the schedule, UCF suffered a 1-0 loss at undefeated No. 12 South Carolina Sept. 18.

Taking Notice
Although a two-hour rain delay before opening night vs. FGCU affected the turnout in the stands, UCF is still averaging 576 fans per home game. That includes a school record 1,142 fans that came out to watch the Black and Gold upset No. 4 Florida State in overtime Sept. 10. That attendance broke the record set at the 1982 NCAA title match between UCF and North Carolina in Orlando.

On the road, the Knights have played in front of two other crowds of 1,000 or more. A reported 1,000 people were on hand for the UCF-UNC matchup Aug. 28, while South Carolina drew 1,424 fans for its home tilt vs. the Knights. That crowd was the third-largest in USC's Stone Stadium history.

Let's Go International
Some notes on UCF's international connections:
-Head coach Amanda Cromwell was a player for the U.S. National Team from 1991-98. She later would be an assistant coach for the U-20 program that won the FIFA World Cup in 2008, as well as an assistant for the U.S. National Team's camp in the winter of 2009 as it prepared for the Algarve Cup.

-The 2009 UCF roster includes Brazilians Aline Reis and Andrea Rodrigues (who now calls Florida home), as well as Tiia Tikkanen from Finland and Bianca Joswiak from Germany.

-Reis spent the 2009 summer training with the Brazilian National Team, while Rodrigues was a part of the Brazil U-19 National Team camp.

Making Them Count
With two this year, senior Courtney Whidden has climbed to third in UCF history with 11 career game-winners. Overall, she leads all Knights with four goals and nine points in `09.

The Netminders
Both senior keepers Lynzee Lee and sophomore Aline Reis have earned C-USA Defensive Player of the Week awards this season, and combined they have five shutouts and an 0.83 GAA. Reis has made 23 saves, giving her 130 in two campaigns at UCF, good for eighth on the all-time list.